Ken Loach delivers the most flat-out entertaining movie of his entire career with this absolute charmer about a bunch of Glaswegian ne’er-do-wells whose conversion to the delights of single malt whisky could prove their unlikely salvation. Newcomer Paul Brannigan is absolutely outstanding as the rough diamond hoping for a better life but stymied by the deprivation around him, until he and his fellow community service participants are taken under the wing of kind-hearted youth worker John Henshaw, a man whose passion for Scotland’s liquid gold is soon to have startling consequences. The title is a distiller’s term for the whisky which evaporates in the barrel over time, but it’s also a canny metaphor for the lost generations of working-class youth, not that there’s the slightest hint of special-pleading here as Brannigan and his pals put their streetwise cunning to productive use. Bet you never thought you’d see a Ken Loach caper movie, but here it is . . . and it’s a hoot. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)
Winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.